Monday, May 20, 2019

Supergirl - The Quest for Peace

Supergirl ends its Fourth Season with a solid, although not quite super, episode as Kara (Melissa Benoist) strives to undo all of Lex Luthor's (Jon Cryer) evil machinations that have set him up as America's new hero. "The Quest for Peace" (taking its name from one of the best forgotten Superman sequels - which is still isn't the worst Superman movie ever made) makes good use of flashbacks to fill in the events from Lex's point-of-view (which cover quite a bit of ground while Supergirl was occupied with Red Daughter). From there Lex struts his stuff turning aliens into human batteries Matrix-style to fuel a space laser he plans to use to kill Superman. Ah, yes, there's the mad-scientist with Superman-envy (and hair envy) we know and love. Cryer continues to entertain as Lex Luthor, although it's unclear how much we may get of the character going forward.

The episode wraps up several of the season-long plot threads while also foreshadowing next season. Kara's single article taking down Lex's reputation feels as much rushed as the plot-heavy finale. In a season that was built around the idea that there's no easy fix to the divided country, Kara Danvers seems to have done just that with an article laying out Lex's machinations. (Do we really think everyone read, and believed, the truth when it was given to them? So much for "real-life" problems.) The episode seems to put an end to Ben Lockwood's (Sam Witwer) reign of tyranny, although I would expect the Children of Liberty to hang around in some form or another.

One thing I've enjoyed about Supergirl is the choice of the writers to change direction and play with fan expectations (as they did with Red Daughter who we only see Supergirl fight once). This was present in last week's change to Brainiac-5 (Jesse Rath), which I'm sad to see end so abruptly as for the first time since his introduction I was genuinely curious about where the character was headed. And that's why I'm so disappointed with Lex's dying declaration to Lena (Katie McGrath) as the show has continually teased a villain path for the character but has swerved because she makes a far more interesting ally for both Kara and Supergirl. Well, the cat's out of the bag and unless the show deals with the ramifications of her hurt feelings quickly, here's betting Lena isn't going to be playing so nice next season.

Speaking of next season, we get the obligatory reminder of the upcoming Crisis, a new challenge for J'onn (David Harewood), the first official step to Alex's (Chyler Leigh) new romance, and a tease of the show's overarching villain next year in Leviathan (which may make a more interesting villain on-screen than on the printed page). It's the "betrayed" version of Lena though that ends the season on a dark note. Despite the show taking deep pains to make her more than smart enough to understand why Kara would keep the secret from her it seems Lena's hurt pride, and the bodies she dropped in her secret experiments (and the important one from this episode) all seem to point to the character crossing over an important threshold that may not offer her a way back.

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